Hammers right-back Pablo Zabaleta sat down for an exclusive interview with the club's official website ahead of his side's clash with Manchester City at the Etihad today, and highlighted the importance of preventing the Citizens from scoring inside the first 10 minutes.
West Ham have woefully underperformed so far this season, and currently sit in 18th position in the Premier League table, three points adrift of safety, and taking into consideration their current plight, they could not have asked for a tougher game than the one they have today.
Pep Guardiola's side have been nothing short of sensational this season, both home and abroad, sweeping aside any team that stands in their way, and many are predicting a hugely one-sided encounter today.
Zabaleta though, insisted that his side have every chance of winning the game, and admitted that if he did not believe that, he would have stayed at home and not played, as quoted by WHUFC.com:
"Against Man City, if you concede after ten minutes it will be really hard. You can be exposed at the back and against those teams with players like David Silva, De Bruyne and Aguero – it’s tough. Every time I prepare for a game I think we can get something, otherwise I would stay at home and not play. We have to believe we can play the perfect game and take our chances.”
Whilst West Ham are desperate for all three points today, there will surely be a resignation behind closed doors that a victory is beyond them, but one thing they absolutely must do is avoid a heavy defeat, which could, in turn, seriously damage morale at the club.
Football is a funny old game though, and if Zabaleta and co perform to their maximum levels, and City have an off day then who knows...stranger things have happened.